Okay y’all. I can’t not tell you the grocery chronicles of my #dclife thus far. They are too amazing to keep to myself.
Warning: This post is long, but worth your time if you need a laugh…
I have to admit that I spent the last 13 years living on the corner of NW 23 and Meridian in Okc, which is not known for attracting the upper echelon of the metro area; quite the opposite. I have had years of experience handling unique shopping compadres, but hold on to your panties, Okc, DC has you beat 10-fold.
First off, let me say, it’s nearly impossible to find groceries in the city. Most people have their groceries delivered. I just haven’t crossed this line yet. Soon, just not yet. Our closest grocery store is 4 blocks south, called Safeway. I am no stranger to the Safeway brand. Growing up, our family used to go to Safeway, and I vividly remember the mint green stamps my mom would let me lick and stick in little booklets. I also remember the day that I stole a tiny white glass tub of Carmex, and got away with it. But, I digress, this post is not about my past as a career criminal.
Episode ONE: Safeway
Three weeks ago, I was meeting a friend from Oklahoma for lunch at 11:30. It was approximately 9:30 a.m. when I walked into Safeway. I had a firm list of what I needed, and Dutch was in tow. We zipped through the store filling out cart with necessary ingredients such as ample supplies of Nutella and Komucha. We hit the check out line with enough time to spare.
OF COURSE I picked the shortest line. (insert eye roll) (It always and forever turns out the be the WORST line?!?! Am I right?!) I took a glance down the lane and there was an older gentleman and a younger woman with about 14 groceries on the converter belt. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy, or so I thought…
Well, I unloaded my FULL cart, with enough food to feed a family of 5 for 2 weeks, (So, yea, A HECK of a lotta groceries) meanwhile the cashier said, “The total will be $86.17 sir”.
The man swiped his card. I looked over, ready to get my groceries started down the line.
“Oh, I am sorry. You are $12.60 over your limit sir”, said the cashier.
Dear reader, at this point, I should have just PAID THE $12.60 for the kind gentleman, but I didn’t.
So instead, I watched as he and his very young companion fought over which items to put back. Meanwhile, I realize that the man – who was acting as the more mature and in charge individual – was BLIND. Walking stick and all.
They argue and fight over every item that is in their cart, while I stand there, hostage with my groceries strewn across the conveyer belt. While they are arguing and laughing over the fact that they had too many “speedballs” to figure the math out, the twenty something girl (who is accompanying the blind gentleman) opens up a red velvet SHEET CAKE, and begins eating it with her hands.
Let me say that again… she pops the clear plastic cake lid off and proceeds to take in hand fulls of red velvet cake with cream cheese icing. She continues to have a conversation with the gentleman as chunks of cake and icing cascade down her face into the bagging area. (The cake is not yet paid for, but remains one of the items they intend to purchase.)
The groceries are finally chosen and the check out is nearly complete when the gentleman realizes he still has 17 cents left to spend. As the girl stands eating cake at the end of the checkout, the blind gentleman says, “HEY, wait here, I am going to go get a banana….” and he turns and proceeds to walk himself to the produce section on the opposite side of the store for a single banana while his much younger and much more capable friend devoured her cake. (Can I please remind you that he was BLIND… and on the hunt for a single banana?!?!?! Okaythanks.)
At this point I want to speak up, to say, “Wwwwaaaiiiiitttt… don’t leave”. I go to open my mouth and no words come out. I am speechless at the entire scenario. Instead I stand there with my eyeballs rolling around the floor as I watch the woman stuffs fistfuls of red velvet in her mouth.
He returns 3 light years later and the sheet cake is nearly gone.
My jaw remains on the floor, while I am shooing Dutch away from the opened sheet cake and thinking about my lunch date who is probably waiting at the table for me. To date, this was the longest time I had ever sat in line for groceries. Also, I wish I knew how to write a sitcom, because my life could be one.
Episode TWO: Wal-mart
Venturing to Urban-Walmart takes this Oklahoma Girl to new levels of crazy. When visiting the Urban-Walmart, you must take a 46 minute drive 3.4 miles across town, then park in the garage below, then take a cargo elevator upstairs to the store. By the time you arrive at the Urban-Walmart, you are D.O.N.E.
Yes, even in DC, Wal-mart is sure to attract the most eclectic crowd the city has to offer.
Every morning I wake up and drink a cup of coffee with a splash of 1/2 and 1/2 while I eat one slice of Ezekiel raisin toast. I have only been able to find Ezekiel raisin toast at one store. Walmart. Desperate times had called for desperate measures. In order to achieve my morning routine, I needed to brave the aisles of Walmart.
Little did I know that my adventure would be so stinky. About 1/2 way through my trip, I began to smell (a smell we all know) the smell of open-air-exposed-adult-human poop.
I kept checking my shoes, I checked my grocery cart, and for a short time I believed someone had placed a bag of poop in the air vents. The smell was everywhere I went. It was not until the end of my trip through wally-world that I realized the woman I had followed for most of my visit had pooped her pants.
It was quite the scene as I approached the cashier. Three managers walked up with cans of Febreeze and proceeded to give me a SHOWER in the fresh smell of “Bora Bora”. After my hair was stuck to my face from the falling Febreeze, I finally asked, “WHAT WAS THAT SMELL? It’s everywhere!”
“Oh, you mean the same lady I followed around the store for the past 25 minutes?”, I asked.
It took a while for the smell to leave my nose. I am positive it clung to my nose hairs.
Episode THREE- not as thrilling but still noteworthy: Safeway
This last week I walked back into my neighborhood Safeway for some bread and milk. I walked through the front doors into the cold air of the deli, and down the first aisle, where I met an older gentleman wearing full-on yellow and green African clothing. He was “inconspicuously” (let me remind you of his African garb) trying to pry the bottle cap of a rogue beer off with a can opener that was still in it’s packaging, being very careful not to tear the packaging of the can opener.
I literally looked at him, made eye contact, and then walked past him, thinking, “Heather, this is normal. Just keep walking.”
I even thought about stopping to help him, because his struggle was quite real.
But I didn’t, I kept walking towards the dairy aisle.
After all this, I love love love this city and it’s eclectic vibe. Everyone is just trying to get by, and definitely not afraid to be themselves. 🙂 I find the entire grocery experience comedic, and I am learning to enjoy the ride. Today, Denver and I drove down H street and saw a man carrying two 20-pound bags of ice in 100 degree heat, a man singlehandedly pushing a piano down the road and a woman on a park bench wearing a gigantic Mexican sombrero, all within the same block. It’s a great city for those of us with ADHD, it’s never boring.